The owner of Doctor’s Orders Pharmacy, with locations in White Hall and Pine Bluff, is in a legal battle with a medical marijuana dispensary in Hot Springs that adopted the same name.
Pharmacy owner Lelan Stice said he holds a trademark for the Doctor’s Orders name.
“We’ve consulted our attorney, and we are going through the process to see what we need to do to protect our name and our reputation,” Stice said. “We are doing what we can do to get them to cease using the name for business. We have no relationship with that business at all. We have been Doctor’s Orders Pharmacy since 2009.”
The medical marijuana dispensary and its name became a statewide spectacle in recent days as it was the first facility in Arkansas to sell legalized pot for patients in need of the drug. Arkansas voters approved the issuance of medical marijuana in 2016, but several legal hurdles prevented its immediate availability.
Stice said that his pharmacies have taken a considerable amount of phones calls, and the Doctor’s Orders Pharmacy Facebook page has received numerous negative revues due to alleged bad business methods at the dispensary.
“We have received a lot of phone calls, and people have been checking in on Facebook at Doctor’s Orders in Pine Bluff with pictures of the marijuana dispensary Doctor’s Orders RX in Hot Springs with complaints about the long lines, poor service and that sort of thing,” Stice said.
“It seems to be damaging our reputation, so we are going to take what steps we need to try to get this rectified and protect the name of Doctor’s Orders Pharmacy.”
This has been an ongoing battle for Stice since he noticed the name Doctor’s Orders listed in the list of names for approved dispensaries.
“I noticed it a while back when they released the list of names, and I had people asking me if I am involved in medical marijuana. No I’m not,” Stice said. “We saw the list of places that are licensed to be dispensaries and saw Doctor’s Orders RX. We didn’t know that they would be opening this soon because we are taking measures to try to get them to cease using the name, but we had no idea what their opening schedule was.”
Stice said on his personal Facebook page that his legal counsel has sent Doctor’s Orders RX a letter demanding them to cease and desist from using the Doctor’s Orders name.
“We have sent some communication to them, and we are waiting for them to respond,” Stice said. “That is typical with legal matters.”
Stice continued: “We are doing well in Pine Bluff and White Hall, and we have a very good reputation in the community. We have a strong history of community service and involvement, and supporting the growth of Pine Bluff and White Hall to become healthier and better communities in the long run. We want to be here for the long haul and see Pine Bluff turn around and see it become the place it was before. The community has shown love back to us, and we have seen our pharmacies grow over the last few years.”
Messages left for representatives of the medical marijuana facility were not returned before press time.